My phone has been on fire since the last blog post. I wanted to address the biggest question we get about Shockey Monkey (and really all of our solutions) and what that question means to me based on the track record, statistics and everything else I happen to know from dealing with the same issue:
Can I try it out for free?
There are several variations of this question: Can I have the Pro for free to see if it’s right for me? Can I host it in my data center? Can I have access to the source code and will you ship a developer to my basement so we can custom tune it to…
While I never say no (because just about all of those are on the roadmap this year) I tend to forward those questions elsewhere because it tells me that you aren’t seriously committed to becoming more organized.
It’s quite simple, allow me to explain.
Yes, all marketers are liars
If Shockey Monkey cost you $500 or $5,000 or $500,000 you bet it would have to sell you on the fact that it would rapidly transform your business to the point that you wouldn’t be able to recognize it and you could spend all winter skiing, all summer boating, all fall golfing and maybe you’d have to cut your spring break short a week to file your taxes. Cake!
Then there is the reality, in which most of the large ERP deployments flop or at best fail to deliver on the promise.
Why? The human factor. Humans don’t like change. Even if you’re in charge of deploying it, you will find a way to do things outside of the system which will slowly errode it’s day-to-day usefulness and when the whole organization is not in it, it doesn’t work. Unless they are forced to, like with Microsoft Outlook. Or for compensation, like with the punchclock. Either way, there needs to be a level of commitment and a level of resolute force at hand in order to drive adoption.
There is one exception – if you make it simple.
The reason folks do stuff outside of the portals is because it’s easier. It’s easier to write stuff down, it’s easier to make a quick call, it’s easier to walk over and ask someone a quick question instead of sticking it into the system.
Unless the system makes it easier to do stuff and makes it far more convenient. It’s easier to go ask someone a quick question and it might even be nicer to get away from actual work – yet people do it with SMS and instant messaging all day long. In the business concept, this is simplicity driving adoption.
We have our tools embedded into Shockey Monkey and it’s done tremendous things for our hosted Exchange and SharePoint, our ExchangeDefender and all the other stuff. Does it mean that our partners can’t just resell stuff from someone else? Not at all, they can sell whatever they want. We just made it incredibly easy and tied it with the rest of their stuff. So the monkey stays free because it’s a win-win for everyone.
There is a point at which you have to decide whether you’re just going to try to simplify your approach and just make a decision to get organized and process oriented.. or if you’re going to keep on trying different things all the time and never really getting what you want out of them. My job isn’t to experiment, my job is to make it easy so people will use it. I head a good idea, I try to use it. But until you make the decision to actually commit to a process, the price tag or the “unknown” don’t really matter at all.
Besides, when I talk to my successful partners you all tell me you’re busy. If that’s the case, aren’t you far more likely to just go with something that’s ready to go right away (www.shockeymonkey.com) instead of trying to think down 3 years worth of customization efforts?
Keep it simple.